A JOBLESS man who wanted to treat his girlfriend stole her mother's jewellery to pay for the gifts.
Joseph Coyne, of Doubleday Drive in Heybridge, had been going out with Michaela Jackson for seven weeks and decided to treat her.
So at a visit to her parents' house, he walked into her mother's room and stole £1,300 worth of jewellery.
He stole a further £1,590 worth of jewellery from Miss Jackson's flatmate Kirsty Brown, and sold his loot to Cash Converters.
"He wanted to raise spending money so he could treat her," said Coyne's lawyer Paul Tawn, who said the 22-year-old had moved in with his girlfriend at her flat in Sanderling Gardens, Heybridge, as soon as they began their relationship.
But he was rumbled by Miss Brown, who quizzed Miss Jackson and Coyne on her missing jewellery, and he admitted that he had taken it but that his girlfriend was not involved.
Miss Brown discovered Coyne had also stolen from Miss Jackson's mother, Teresa Donovan, and "marched" him to her house in Colchester Road, Heybridge, so he could confess.
Coyne later handed himself in, and last Thursday at Chelmsford Crown Court he was given a 12-month community order, ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and to pay compensation to his victims.
Coyne had pleaded guilty to both burglaries.
Prosecutor Sarah Otte said that when caught he accepted what he had done and was extremely ashamed and remorseful.
He told police he was out of work and needed extra cash.
"He has lost his girlfriend and the respect of people who trusted him," added Mr Tawn.
Coyne, a former Plume School pupil, has since found a job doing maintenance work.